Entrepreneur Joe Erwin is the co-founder and former President of marketing agency Erwin Penland, the co-founder of Clemson University’s Erwin Center for Brand Communications, and as President of Erwin Creates, recently announced the creation of Endeavor, a new collaborative community for creative services professionals that will debut in downtown Greenville, SC in spring 2016.
A Clemson University, graduate, Joe began his career at Greenville’s Leslie Advertising, and joined DMB&B in New York before returning to Greenville in 1986 to purchase Penland Advertising. He and his wife Gretchen – also a marketing professional – opened Erwin Penland with one account and two employees. The agency experienced extraordinary growth during Joe's 29-year tenure as President, ultimately employing more than 400 in Greenville and New York, with a national client roster that included Verizon Wireless, Denny’s, L.L.Bean, Michelin’s Uniroyal Tire brand and Disney XD.
Joe created and for seven years hosted the national creativity conference Food for Thought, and oversaw Erwin Penland’s pro bono work and diversity initiatives. During his tenure, the agency was recognized as one of the “Best Places to Work” by Advertising Age, PR News and the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, and for having one of the best internship programs in the country.
Active in the community and the advertising industry, Joe has served on numerous boards and commissions, including the South Carolina Special Olympics, the Governor’s Commission on Teacher Quality, the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, the American Association of Advertising Agencies and the 4A’s Foundation – and of course, Clemson University’s Erwin Center for Brand Communications.